Best Brewery: Sudwerk Brewing Co.

MARINA OLNEY / AGGIE

Not only is Sudwerk Brewing Co. one of the first craft breweries of the Sacramento region, but it holds the title of the best brewery in Best of Davis 2018.

Founded in 1989, the brewery prides itself on its unique, German-style lager with a West Coast twist. One of the co-founders of this longstanding Davis establishment is Dean Unger. Today, his grandson, Trent Yackzan, carries on the legacy as co-owner of the brewery.

“Sudwerk has become an institution [of] not only Davis but the greater region and I’m proud to be a part of such a passionate team that works tirelessly to drive our community and industry forward,” Yackzan said in an email interview. “From a professional perspective, I’ve always preferred to ‘learn on the job’ and Sudwerk has provided me incredible hands-on experience in running a small business.”

Sudwerk is nestled under the Pole Line Road overpass, reachable by a quick bike ride down 2nd Street. As of a little over five years ago, Sudwerk opened its dock store (open Tuesday through Saturday) to bridge the interface between the customer experience and the brewers’. It’s a cozy place to spend a Friday night: under the string lights, drinking beer and enjoying live music or a game of cornhole.

“We’ve built many other great relationships with a growing number of UC Davis student groups and campus affiliates via hosting regular fundraisers at our tasting room called ‘The Dock,’” Yackzan said. “We encourage any UC Davis student group that would like to raise funds for a cause to inquire about hosting a fundraiser. We’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars for the community over the past few years and look forward to continue fostering these great relationships in the years to come.”

In addition to their robust community involvement, Sudwerk maintains a great relationship with UC Davis and its students. The brewery is partnered with the UC Davis undergraduate and Master Brewers Extension programs. The masters program is located on-site at the Sudwerk Brewing Co Dock Store, where students can learn firsthand the craft of brewing beer as a complement to their conceptual classroom sessions.

“‘Sudwerk’ translates to ‘Southern Factory’ literally, but it’s also a slang term for ‘community brewery,’” Yackzan said. “The brewery name continues to drive our mission, which is to be an asset to our community and to develop Davis into a world renowned brewing destination. I like to say ‘Davis Grows Brewers;’ both Sudwerk and UC Davis play an integral role in making that statement a reality.

 

Written by: Marlys Jeane and Grace Simmons — features@theaggie.org